Earlier today, former Pace Academy teacher William Villemez appeared in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Linda Walker for a detention hearing on charges of possession of child pornography.
Villemez, who worked as a Fine Arts teacher at the prestigious Atlanta private school for the last seven years, was arrested after federal agents searched his Smyrna home and discovered DVD’s and videos containing child pornography. Law enforcement officers determined Villemez had ordered the materials from his home computer. When questioned, Villemez admitted he purchased and watched the materials and also downloaded several images on his computer.
The arrest of Villemez was part of a multi-year international federal investigation. In October 2010, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and foreign law enforcement began investigating a Canadian movie production company that was selling child pornography films through the mail and internet. In May 2011, law enforcement officers searched the company’s hardcopy and computer records. Villemez was one of many customers listed in the company’s business records. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service would not answer questions about the possibility of future arrests stemming from this investigation.
Pace Academy officials sent a letter to students and parents explaining the situation on Monday. In the letter, Pace’s headmaster, Fred Assaf, stated that the school was cooperating with the federal agents as they carried out their investigation. Assaf stressed that Villemez did not involve any of the students in his actions, nor was there any evidence of inappropriate physical contact between Villemez and any Pace students. He also stated that Villemez does not have any prior criminal history. Assaf reported that Villemez was terminated on Monday immediately after school officials learned of the charges.
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